Thursday, March 30, 2006

Artists in Canadian Cities

From an article by James Adams in Wednesday's Globe and Mail, the results of a recent study by Hill Strategies Research provides an interesting look at Canada's arts scene, with data collected from the 2001 census.

The report takes the definition of an "artist" as belonging to one of nine groups:

• actors
• artisans and craftspersons
• conductors, composers and arrangers
• dancers
• musicians and singers
• other performers (such as circus performers and puppeteers)
• painters, sculptors and other visual artists
• producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations
• writers

(Hey, singers are musicians too!)

From the report's conclusions, Toronto artists were found to have the highest annual earnings ($34,100) and Vancouver was found to have the highest number of artists in its population (1.7% versus a national average of .8%).

Another important statistic are the growth rates of the arts industry:

In Canada, the number of artists grew by 29% between 1991 and 2001, close to three times the rate of growth of the overall labour force (10%).

Of the 92 large cities examined in this report, Barrie (ON) had the largest percentage increase in the number of artists. The number of artists in Barrie more than tripled, increasing from 105 in 1991 to 340 in 2001.

...the number of artists in six other cities at least doubled between 1991 and 2001, including Coquitlam, Richmond and Port Coquitlam in British Columbia, Whitby and Newmarket in Ontario, as well as Moncton, New Brunswick.

Rounding out the list of cities with the highest percentage increase in artists between 1991 and 2001 are: Richmond Hill, ON (86% increase), Norfolk, ON (85% increase), Langley and New Westminster, B.C. (each with an 82% increase).

These are pretty astonishing numbers and reinforce what many arts lobbyists have been saying for quite some time.

Also bear in mind that these numbers are for the 2001 census--five years have passed, with almost certainly even more growth in the sector.

Full report by Hill Strategies


  1. How funny ... I recently commented at Hugh Sung's blog ( about "Singers are musicians too."

    Glad to see I'm not the only one who thinks that way.

    (Of course I could *joke* about what KIND of musicians. ;-)

  2. I take the definition of a "Muse" as belonging to one of nine groups:

    Epic poetry, music, history, lyrics/love poetry, tragedy, sacred poetry, dancing, comedy, astronomy.

    Judas Penrose
    Poetry Politics and Piracy